Have you been obsessing about names since you were a child naming your dolls like me? Or are you expecting and just dipping your toes into the name world waters? It seems that everyone, enthusiast or not, has an opinion about how to name a baby. I’ve read and heard unofficial “name rules” for years. Some rules, like don’t name your baby after a dictator are common sense, but here are a few rules I think are made to be broken…
1 Same letter names for siblings
I’m sure you’ve met siblings who’s names were so similar that you have to wonder how their parents managed to call for them. I went to school with siblings Stephanie and Stephan. I’m definitely not suggesting matchy-matchy sibsets nor would I recommend Duggar-sized families continue a letter theme. I do think siblings names beginning in the same letter work when the letter make a different sound. Gavin and Gabriel are easier to get tongue tied than Emma and Evelyn for example. So toss that rule aside and opt for the sound the letter makes over the letter itself.
2 Alternate Spellings
Alternate spellings are hugely controversial in the baby name world. Take it from a girl named Meagan, not Megan or Meghan or a million other variations, its ok to use an alternate spelling. In my 30-something *cough* years of life I’ve had my name misspelled but it really hasn’t been that big of a deal and people usually catch on once corrected. That said, Meagan is a legitimate, although less popular spelling of the familiar Megan. I don’t mind the alternate spelling but I’m sure glad my folks didn’t get overly creative and opts for Mahayghanne or some other created spelling.
I’m all for alternative spellings and cautious when it comes to creative spellings, but I have to say I’m a fan of some franken-names or name-smash’s. A franken-name is the melding of two names, sometimes hyphenated to create one name. One of my favorite examples is Anastella, one part Ana, one part Stella, mix and get the lovely Anastella. It can be tricky finding of creating a name smash that isn’t obnoxiously long and doesn’t feel like it trying to hard but when you do its magic!
4 Gender Bending Names
We’ve definitely seen a rise of traditionally male names being used on little girls in recent years. A polarizing topic in the name world gender bender or unisex names are totally lovable and usable. I know of a little boy named Kelly, a male name that gained popularity for girls, but could swing back around. I grew up with a boy and a girl named Evan, both wore their names well. While some names may have more teasing potential, I think it’s fine to use a name like Avery now more popular for girls on a boy.
5 A Name that’s taken
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked if a name was usable because it had been used by the expecting couples boss, friend, sibling, etc. So this one is tricky and doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all answer, the key is to consider the relationship. Did your co-worker name her son Riordan? Is Riordan your Mother’s maiden name, a name you and your partner agree on and have loved for ages? Use it! No one can call “dibs” on a name. Do consider if your kids will be raised together. If your sister lives next door and names her daughter Finley it may be one you have to forgo. Then again you could always use Finley as a middle name and share a cute cousin connection.
Keep in mind that most people will have an unwarranted opinions about your child’s name but at the end of the day what matters most is how happy you are with your choice. These broken rules are just my opinion, I’d love to hear your opinions in the comment section. Happy Naming!